Although she was teased for her pasty skin, being a theater kid stuck inside all summer, shielded from the sun actually saved Jennifer Garner’s skin. When you look at the 48-year-old’s flawless complexion these days, you might chalk it up to good genes, good luck, and celebrity-standard dermatology, but she worked for it. The actress took the time to get to know what her skin needed from her after years of exposing it, unprotected, from all kinds of damaging elements.
She spent her younger years quite literally soaking up the sun. “We would put on baby oil and lay in the sun to try to get brown,” she told People. And the time she spent sailing with her family didn’t help much either: “When I was a young girl, my sisters spent most of the time on a boat. We would just burn and then peel it off and then burn again and peel it off,” she told the magazine.
A post shared by Jennifer Garner (@jennifer.garner) on Apr 18, 2019 at 4:04pm PDT
And while she’s managed to turn things around, thanks to all that time spent on stage and discovering the importance of shielding her skin, Jennifer says the signs of sun damage were still somewhat visible years later. As a result, she’s made it her mission to help others protect their skin by showing it the TLC it deserves like she eventually did.
Now, don't worry—despite her access to the fanciest and most expensive creams out there, Jen’s skin rehab and anti-aging routine is packing accessible (and mostly OTC) products that get the job done. You’re going to want to pay close attention to this.
Sunscreen's been her saving grace.
As a Neutrogena ambassador, Jennifer is admittedly a little biased about which sunscreen she uses. Her personal favorite is, of course, Neutrogena's Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch sunscreen because of the way it sinks into the skin and the fact that it doesn't leave any streaky residue behind. But whichever you choose, by lathering some on every morning, you'll be doing your body a ton of good and even reversing signs of sun damage. All Jennifer wants you to do is “keep sunscreen everywhere, and always apply more than you think you need. You just have to be a nerd about it, and get it done!”
When it comes to selecting the right SPF for you, a good rule of thumb is to keep an eye out for sunscreen labeled "broad-spectrum,” Caren Campbell, MD, board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco previously told Women's Health. “Broad spectrum means it protects against UVA and UVB. UVA are the sun rays that cause aging of your skin and UVB rays are the sun rays that cause burning of the skin.”
She won't go to bed without washing her face.
There's no if ands or buts about it, her makeup's coming off. "I honestly wear no makeup unless there’s a reason to, but if I happen to have eye makeup on that day I’ll remove all of it," Jennifer told Marie Claire.
Even after the long nights walking red carpets and award-show after parties, when she gets home at 4 a.m. covered in foundation, blushes, lashes, and shimmer, going to sleep in her makeup isn't an option then either. “When you’ve been wearing that much makeup for that long, you absolutely have to get it off your skin. There were a couple of nights where I used makeup wipes…Worst case scenario, that’s the way to go," she told People.
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Retinol is her answer to anti-aging.
Like most people, it took a little trial and error for Jennifer to figure out which retinol was the right fit for her—after all, the stuff can leave your skin majorly irritated if it's too intense. "Being in my mid-40s, retinol really is the most important product for anti-aging. But I have sensitive skin, so everything people gave me kept turning my face red, itchy, and blotchy," she revealed to Marie Claire.
“Retinols are vitamin A derivatives that have been shown to boost collagen production, increase cell turnover, improve hyperpigmentation, brighten skin, and unclog pores. They can be used for a range of issues from acne to anti aging," Sejal Shah, MD, New York City cosmetic dermatologist and founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology previously told Women's Health.
That dewy look is all thanks to hyaluronic acid.
"I also hate that feeling when your skin looks sallow and you can see it in the texture," Jennifer told Marie Claire. To counter act that, she "swears" by hyaluronic acid. It "helps to retain over 1,000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it a mega moisturizing ingredient," Marnie Nussbaum, MD a New York City dermatologist previously told WH. Basically, it's a sponge that keeps all the moisture right where you want it, in your face. Jen's fave? Neutrogena’s Hydroboost because it gives her "a plump, bouncy, and dewy effect," she added.
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